New York: Cannabis or marijuana use increases neural noise in the brain, leading to a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality, says an Indian-origin researcher.
The team from Yale University found that a primary active constituent of cannabis induces transient psychosis-like effects in healthy participants similar to those observed in schizophrenia.
“At doses roughly equivalent to half or a single joint, the compound called ‘Delta9-THC’ produced psychosis-like effects and increased neural noise in humans,” explained senior author Deepak Cyril D’Souza, professor of psychiatry.
The findings suggest that increased neural noise may play a role in the psychosis-like effects of cannabis.
The investigators studied the effects of ‘Delta9-THC’ on electrical brain activity in 24 human subjects who participated in a three-day study.
If confirmed, the link between neural noise and psychosis could shed light on the biology of some of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia.
“This interesting study suggests a commonality between the effects on the brain of the major active ingredient in marijuana and symptoms of schizophrenia,” John Krystal, editor of the journal Biological Psychiatry that published the paper.